Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will deploy an open source electronic patient record system which it hopes will help improve patient care, according to its Chief Information Officer Steve Bloor.
The system, which will see the Trust partner with IMS MAXIMS, will enable the hospital to adapt the software more rapidly to ensure better patient care, according to Bloor. He said that by offering a more personalised patient journey it will allow over 3,000 staff to share patient records across the hospital site working towards implementing a paperless system by 2020.
Bloor said that the NHS Trust "always considers" using open source as a first option when delivering IT, with the new software expecting to reduce costs by 60%.
"We want to not only gain more efficient patient care by using the most advanced electronic patient record available, but at the same time achieve value for money, through an open and collaborative roadmap for ongoing software development," he said.
The CIO is confident in delivering open source working alongside third parties.
"Open source will lower the costs of ownership; which will give us flexibility with how we develop the software in going forward," he said. "In terms of bringing third parties within the NHS development capabilities, it will support and maintain the technology in not being tied to one supplier," he said.
Bloor is leading a technology transformation at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, which includes upgrading their existing patient administration system as well as their legacy systems used in its theatre and emergency departments.
“We have just finished deploying Emis web servers [file sharing service used by healthcare professionals] into our community setting which will reach over a 1,000 staff. This will enable the Trust to interact with the patients in a more real way with the information being sent to the clinical resource teams to deliver a more informed care for our patients," he said.
Developing the digital technologies has seen Bloor use his leadership skills in his CIO role with open source being embedded in the business strategy.
"At Blackpool we take our systems and our service requirement first and then see where the business specification can fit around them," he said. "We would hold open source software around them to proprietary standards and if they don’t meet our criteria we wouldn’t go down this route." [Read next: Breast Cancer Care Head of Digital on "improving the customer's journey]